Author Archive | Good German

Wastewater Injection Triggered Oklahoma’s Earthquake Cascade

Pic: USGS (PD)

Pic: USGS (PD)

Becky Oskin writes at LiveScience:

One of Oklahoma’s biggest man-made earthquakes, caused by fracking-linked wastewater injection, triggered an earthquake cascade that led to the damaging magnitude-5.7 Prague quake that struck on Nov. 6, 2011, a new study confirms.

The findings suggest that even small man-made earthquakes, such as those of just a magnitude 1 or magnitude 2, can trigger damaging quakes, said study co-author Elizabeth Cochran, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Even if wastewater injection only directly affects a low-hazard fault, those smaller events could trigger an event on a larger fault nearby,” she told Live Science.

The Prague earthquake was the largest of thousands of quakes that rattled Oklahoma in late 2011. Three were magnitude-5 or stronger. The 2011 quakes struck along the Wilzetta fault, a fault zone near Prague. Earthquakes break faults like a boat plowing through thick ice — the fault zips open as the earthquake ruptures the fault, and then seals itself shut behind.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

In Defense of Hypocrisy

PProg_19_p51_Hypocrisy

Pic: PD

We’re all a bunch of hypocrites. That’s okay, though: So is everyone else.

Adam Kingsmith writes at DeSmog Canada:

The way in which we think, act, feel and live is wrought with self-denial, contradiction and inconsistency. In a recent piece, I highlighted how various logical fallacies work as psychological flaws that twist and distort our decision-making abilities, making it virtually impossible for someone to make a truly unbiased and impartial choice about anything.
What’s more, because so much of our thought processes are subconscious, our internal contradictions and irregularities rarely register at a more conscious level. And thus our unwillingness to realize this means we tend to think everyone is a hypocrite but us.
According to Why Everyone (Else) Is A Hypocrite, by evolutionary psychologist Robert Kurzban, the reason we seem unwilling to make an effort to realize our inherent irrationalities is because in Western society, a flattering self-image is directly correlated with personal rewards such as greater senses of emotional stability, motivation and perseverance.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Money Makes Parenting Less Meaningful

310px-K.V.Lemoh_(d.1910)._Parent's_Joy

Pic: “Parents’ Joy” by Karl Lemoch (PD)

According to this study, having a higher socioeconomic status makes parents value the experience of raising children, particularly so for women. In contrast, poverty is associated with an increased risk of child abuse.

Via EurekAlert!:

Money and parenting don’t mix. That’s according to new research that suggests that merely thinking about money diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting. The study is one among a growing number that identifies when, why, and how parenthood is associated with happiness or misery.

“The relationship between parenthood and well-being is not one and the same for all parents,” says Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia. While this may seems like an obvious claim, social scientists until now have yet to identify the psychological and demographic factors that influence parental happiness.

New research being presented today at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) conference in Austin offers not only insight into the link between money and parental well-being but also a new model for understanding a variety of factors that affect whether parents are happier or less happy than their childless counterparts.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Study Shows Children Can Be Better Than Adults at Figuring Out New Gadgets

Yasmin Anwar at UC Berkeley:

Preschoolers can be smarter than college students at figuring out how unusual toys and gadgets work because they’re more flexible and less biased than adults in their ideas about cause and effect, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Edinburgh.

The findings suggest that technology and innovation can benefit from the exploratory learning and probabilistic reasoning skills that come naturally to young children, many of whom are learning to use smartphones even before they can tie their shoelaces. The findings also build upon the researchers’ efforts to use children’s cognitive smarts to teach machines to learn in more human ways.

“As far as we know, this is the first study examining whether children can learn abstract cause and effect relationships, and comparing them to adults,” said UC Berkeley developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik, senior author of the paper published online in the journal, Cognition.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Global War on Education? Schools Worldwide Have Been Subjected to 10,000 Violent Attacks

Pic: Unknown (PD)

Pic: Unknown (PD)

Sean Coughlan writes at the BBC:

There have been almost 10,000 violent attacks on places of education in recent years, according to the biggest ever international study of how schools and universities are targeted by acts of aggression.

These included the murder of staff and students and the destruction of buildings in bomb and arson attacks, in countries including Pakistan, Colombia, Somalia and Syria.

This stark account of violence against education between 2009 and 2013 has been published by a coalition of human rights groups, aid organisations and United Nations agencies.

The Education Under Attack report, published in New York on Thursday, reveals the extent to which education has been subjected to deliberate acts of violence.

These are not cases of schools and their staff “just caught in the crossfire”, says Diya Nijhowne, director of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.

“They are bombed, burned, shot, threatened, and abducted precisely because of their connection to education.”

Thousands of death threats

There were 9,600 attacks worldwide, with incidents recorded in 70 countries, with the worst problems in Africa and parts of Asia and South America.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Biology of Altruistic Suicide

Pic: Neon_JA (CC)

Pic: Neon_JA (CC)

Kanina Foss writing at the University of the Witwatersrand:

The question of why an individual would actively kill itself has been an evolutionary mystery. Death could hardly provide a fitness advantage to the dying individual. However, a new study has found that in single-celled algae, suicide benefits the organism’s relatives.

“Death can be altruistic – we showed that before – but now we know that programmed cell death benefits the organism’s relatives and not just anybody,” says Dr Pierre Durand from the Department of Molecular Medicine and Haematology and the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience (SBIMB) at Wits University.

When Durand and his colleagues from the University of Arizona released the results of their first study on suicide in single-celled algae in 2011, they showed that when an organism commits suicide by digesting up its own body, it releases nutrients into the environment that can be used by other organisms.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

John Cage’s 4’33″, the iPhone App

PIC: John Cage Trust (C)

PIC: John Cage Trust (C)

Grayson Currin writes at Pitchfork:

For the past several days, I’ve been listening to covers of nothing. And everything.

Thanks to 4’33”, a new iPhone-and-iPod-app inspired by John Cage’s infamously indeterminate piece of the same name, I’ve heard babies crying in Tokyo, food slurped outside of Paris and afternoon tea being prepared in North Sydney. Each of these recordings lasts for four minutes and 33 seconds, split into three unequal movements that are separated by two 10-second breaks—the form for David Tudor’s premiere of the work in 1952. They mirror Cage’s composition only structurally; sonically, they don’t necessarily share anything with the way the composer’s original audiences might have heard 4’33″. And that was the point of the piece anyway, right?

“When nothing is securely possessed, one is free to accept any of the somethings,” John Cage wrote for his 1951 “Lecture on Something”.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Volcanoes Contribute to Recent Global Warming ‘Hiatus’

Pic: "Volcano" Lionel Walden ca. 1880 (PD)

Pic: “Volcano” Lionel Walden ca. 1880 (PD)

Volcanoes, the cause of global warming?  Au contraire, they’re an antidote!  Via ScienceDaily:

Volcanic eruptions in the early part of the 21st century have cooled the planet, according to a study led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This cooling partly offset the warming produced by greenhouse gases.

Despite continuing increases in atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases, and in the total heat content of the ocean, global-mean temperatures at the surface of the planet and in the troposphere (the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere) have shown relatively little warming since 1998. This so-called ‘slow-down’ or ‘hiatus’ has received considerable scientific, political and popular attention. The volcanic contribution to the ‘slow-down’ is the subject of a new paper appearing in the Feb. 23 edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Volcanic eruptions inject sulfur dioxide gas into the atmosphere. If the eruptions are large enough to add sulfur dioxide to the stratosphere (the atmospheric layer above the troposphere), the gas forms tiny droplets of sulfuric acid, also known as “volcanic aerosols.” These droplets reflect some portion of the incoming sunlight back into space, cooling Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

‘Tired of Getting Raped’: KKK Member Designed Death Ray to Kill ‘Enemies of Israel’ (i.e. Muslims)

Pic: USMIL (PD)

Pic: USMIL (PD)

Dan Amira writes at the Daily Intelligencer:

A plot to design a radiation weapon that could fit in a small van and be used to silently kill humans was unraveled by an FBI task force that charged two men — a General Electric Co. industrial mechanic from Saratoga County and a computer software expert from Columbia County -— with conspiring to sell the weapon to Jewish groups or a southern branch of the Ku Klux Klan.

A federal complaint unsealed Wednesday in Albany said the vehicle-mounted radiation gear was intended to be remotely controlled and capable of aiming a high-energy lethal beam of radioactivity at human targets. The concept was that victims would mysteriously die from radiation poisoning within days.

The FBI on Tuesday arrested Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, of Providence, Saratoga County, and Eric J. Feight, 54, of Stockport, who are accused of developing “a radiation emitting device that could be placed in the back of a van to covertly emit ionizing radiation strong enough to bring about radiation sickness or death against Crawford’s enemies,” according to an FBI agent’s sworn complaint.

Read the rest

Continue Reading